Volunteer response to Covid-19 crisis praised by Ministers

by Rachel Darcy

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, and the Minister of State for Community Development, Sean Canney TD, have praised the response of volunteers across the country in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Since the call for volunteers to support the community response went out in March, 16,957 people registered to volunteer through the I-VOL app.

Volunteers are directly linked by their local Volunteer Centres to local organisations responding to the pandemic. Volunteers engage in a wide range of duties, from delivering food and medicines to older people who are self-isolating, to those volunteering in Covid test centres.

Minister Michael Ring said: “I would like to express my deep appreciation for the invaluable work being carried out by volunteers during the Covid-19 emergency. The response to the COVID crisis shows once again what a fantastic resource we have in our volunteers. We need to build on this momentum for the future development of volunteering.

“As a country we have always depended greatly on the great cohort of volunteers that give so generously of their time and energy year in year out. Unfortunately, many of our volunteers are older people who have been confined to their homes as a result of the COVID 19 crisis.

“Back in March as the crisis was emerging, we called on people to help meet the significant needs at community level and the response has been magnificent.”

Minister Sean Canney added: “Volunteers make a vital contribution to Irish society, developing communities as vibrant, inclusive and sustainable places where people want to live. This volunteering spirit has been so clearly visible in local communities across the country throughout the COVID-19 crisis.”

During the crisis, the Department has introduced a number of additional measures to provide extra support.

This included funding of €500,000 to Volunteer Centres to support volunteer efforts, a Covid-19 Communication Pack for Communities, leaflets offering practical advice and information, a €2.5 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund for local authorities to administer to community groups partaking in the ‘Community Call’, as well as €40 million support package of supports for Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises.

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